Slow Food is Good, Clean and FairWe are honored to have been selected as US delegates to the 2012 Slow Food Terra Madre in Turin, Italy October 25-29. There are only 200 Delegates chosen from across the country to represent Slow Food USA. This is a very unique and advantageous opportunity for us as a small heirloom seed company to attend while creating and strengthening connections with producers around the world. This event will help to further our work of preserving and promoting heirloom seeds, home gardening and sustainable, local food networks.
Since 2004 Turin, Italy hosts this international event every two years in the northwest Piedmont area. Slow Food is an international grassroots membership organization promoting good, clean and fair food for all. Terra Madre is a network of people who actively work to preserve and promote sustainable farming that respects nature, traditions and communities.
During this trip we plan to meet and make friends with food producers around the world and learn from their experiences while sharing ours. The synergy of a group of committed people with a common goal and interest can make incredible change in the world. Now more than ever we need this change on both a global and local level. Bringing back stories of successes and challenges can help make changes in all of our communities. We have a unique position of interacting not only with our local community but a customer base that expands across North America and many countries, giving us the ability to share our experiences at Slow Food Terra Madre with a very diverse audience. The time is right for us to gain a larger view of the global food system by participating first hand in such a unique event.
The Slow Food organization is an ironic way of saying “No” to fast food and a fast, superficial life. Slow Food means living a deep, meaningful life; beginning at the table. It was founded to counter the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our daily food choices affect the rest of the world.
It has been said that the best revenge is living well. It really starts with eating well, as eating is such a central part of all of our lives whether we consciously realize it or not. Not only is food the third most important ingredient for life behind air and water, but every civilization and culture throughout history has shaped and been shaped by its food traditions. Slow Food is simply reconnecting with those roots in today’s world by opposing the industrial standardization of taste and culture, and the unrestrained power of the food industry and industrial agriculture.
“Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature.” – Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food
The tenants of Slow Food are Good, Clean and Fair. Good simply means a fresh and flavorful seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture. Clean designates food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health. Fair is accessible pricing for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers. Farmers Markets, Community Supported Agriculture, local food swaps, community gardens, neighborhood gardens and over the fence backyard garden food trading are all examples of the ideals outlined above.
Terra Madre arose out of Slow Food and is made up of small farmers, producers, cooks, academics, consumers, non-government organizations and youth who come together to discuss how to improve the food system collaboratively at global, regional and local meetings. The many resulting projects and exchanges promote the sharing of knowledge and best practice approaches around the world.
The first world meeting of Terra Madre was in 2004 in Italy and brought together 5,000 producers from 130 countries. The second in 2006 included 1,000 chefs, aware of their important role in supporting local, quality production, as well as 400 researchers and academics seeking to bridge the theory of their work with hands-on knowledge. In 2008, 1,000 young producers, chefs, students and activists from around the world joined the network to show their commitment to ensuring traditions and agricultural wisdom is handed from one generation to the next.
“Foods that Change the World” is this year’s theme. For the first time the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre will be a combined event and open to the public, not just Slow Food members. In years past the Salone del Gusto was the venue where foods and products from around the world were showcased while Terra Madre housed the discussions on successes and challenges of food producers everywhere. This year they are combined, making it the most important event solely dedicated to food, responsibility and respect for those who produce it and the environment.
“Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2012 will represent a defining moment for the thousands of people that will come together in Turin to discuss the future of food,” said Slow Food president Carlo Petrini. “Our daily choices and the food that we put on our plates determine the future of the environment, economy and society, and it is more crucial than ever that we raise a collective voice this October and become an active part in solving the problems that are affecting the earth and the global community.”
To make this trip a success, we are asking for your support. As 2 of 200 US Delegates we are responsible for travel to and from Turin, Italy. The costs of international air travel have increased greatly in the past year, and we are seeking support to help cover these costs to attend. 100% of contributions will go directly to travel expenses. This is a very unique opportunity for us as a small family owned company; however the costs are significant. We ask for your support in any amount that you can contribute, as everything will make a difference! Many of you have commented that the work we are doing is significant and important, so please pass this along to your friends, family and neighbors that are interested in preserving heirloom seeds and strengthening local, sustainable food networks.
To contribute, please visit our Slow Food Terra Madre link in our store!